In 1967, Allan Wilson and Vince Sarich published their estimate that the human lineage had separated from the great apes five million years ago. This was based on a system where they measured the strength of the immune reaction of one species to a protein from another species.
In the years that followed this startling research, Wilson and Sarich's work was confirmed using comparisons of DNA from the mitochondria of chimps and humans. In the 1970s, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) became a common tool for the study of human history.
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